Archive for the ‘FMR scripts’ Category

A Musical Acrostic

A new series with this name began on Fine Music Radio 101.3 (FMR) on Sunday 2nd January 2022 at midday. It contains a mystery at its heart. I am supplying musical and verbal clues over 12 weeks on Sundays at midday, hoping that listeners will play along and find the answer some time before the denouement Programme 13 at the end of March. If anyone thinks they have cracked it, they can let me know at .

Update 13th March: – next week (20th March) the letters and meaning of the Acrostic will be revealed. Do join us on FMR.

Update: If you missed the programme, you can find a recording at the end of this post.

I will post the weekly playlists here for easy reference – after the broadcast……

Happy listening to FMR, and happy puzzling.


What is the musical feature that can be found in all these pieces written by composers whose surnames begin with:

Bach JS: Double Violin Concerto, 2nd movement

Quilter: A Children’s Overture

Clementi: Piano Sonata in A major – both movements

Chopin: Waltz in D flat (Minute) Op 64 No 1

Chopin: Waltz in E minor Op posthumous

Chaminade: Concertino for Flute and Piano

Chopin: Ballade No 1 in G minor Op 23

Clue pieces:

Crumb: ‘Pisces’ from The Zodiac

Copland: ‘HoeDown’ from Rodeo


BIPW (1)

Brahms: Academic Festival Overture

Beethoven: 1st Symphony, 2nd movement

Beethoven: 6th Symphony, Finale

Beethoven: Bagatelle in D major

Beethoven: Piano Sonata Op3 No 2, 1st Movement

Beethoven: Piano Sonata Op 13 (Pathetique), Finale

Beethoven: Piano Trio No 6 in E flat major, Finale 

Clue Pieces:

Bach JS: Double Violin Concerto, 2nd movement


BIPW (2)

Berlioz: Roman Carnival Overture

Borodin: Prince Igor Overture

Wagner: Prelude to Lohengrin Act 1

Weber: Dear Freischutz Overture

Wieck: Ballade in D minor from Soirees Musicales

Clue Pieces:

Brahms: Intermezzo in E flat for Piano

Bennett: Hoe Down from The Billion Dollar Brain



Offenbach: Orpheus in the Underworld Overture

Handel: Prelude to Messiah

Handel: Air from Water Music Suite in F

Holst: Neptune from the The Planets Suite

Haydn: Clock Symphony (No 101), 2nd movement

Anderson, Leroy: The Rakes of Mallow from the Irish Suite

Haydn: Miracle Symphony (no 96), Finale

Clue Pieces:

Handel: Rigaudon from Water Music Suite in G

Vaughan Williams: Come down, O Love divine

Verdi: ‘Caro nome’ from Aida

Handel: Joy to the World



Glinka: Russlan and Ludmilla Overture

Grainger: Handel in the Strand

Grainger: Pastorale from In a Nutshell Suite

Grieg: Air from Holberg Suite

German: Welsh Rhapsody

Goldmark: ‘In Italy’ Overture

Clue pieces:

None this week


FMT (1)

Mozart: Marriage of Figaro Overture

Mozart: Piano Quartet in G Minor K478 – 2nd movement

Mozart: Piano Quartet in E flat major K493 – Finale

Mozart: String Quartet in D major K575 – Finale

Faure: Pavane

Mozart: Exsultate jubilate – 1st movement

Fodor: Symphony No 2 – Minuet

Clue Pieces:

Mozart: String Quartet in D minor K173 – Finale


FMT (2)

Thomas, Ambroise: Overture to Mignon

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6 (Pathetique) 1st, 2nd and 3rd movements (but not 4th)

Mahler: St Anthony’s Sermon to the Fishes from Das Knaben Wunderhorn

Mendelssohn: Song without words Op 85 No 3

Clue Piece:

Mahler: St Anthony’s Sermon to the Fishes from Das Knaben Wunderhorn



Mozart: La Clemenza di Tito Overture

Mendelssohn: Finale (Salterello) from Italian Symphony

Tchaikovsky: Waltz from Serenade for Strings

Tchaikovsky: Waltz from Eugene Onegin

Mahler: Finale from Symphony No 5

Milhaud: The Blue Train – Scene 5

Tchaikovsky: June from the The Seasons

Mozart: Conclusion of Don Giovanni

Clue Pieces:

Tchaikovsky: Act 2 Pas de Deux from The Nutcracker ballet

Mozart: Andante amoroso from Piano Sonata K 281


ELSZ (1)

Elgar: Triumphal March from Caractacus

Saint Saens: Piano Concerto No 2, 2nd movement

Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, 1st movement

Liszt: Piano Concerto No 1, Finale

Schubert: Piano Sonata In A major D959, 1st movement

Sibelius: Alla Marcia from the Karelia Suite

Clue Pieces:

Saint Saens: “Softly awakes my heart” from Samson and Delilah

Liszt: Piano Sonata in B minor

PROGRAMME 10 (6th MARCH 2022)

ELSZ (2)

Sullivan: Nightmare Song from Iolanthe

Schubert: Impromptu No 1 in F minor

Enescu: Romanian Rhapsody No 1

Elgar: The Dance from Bavarian Highlands Suite

Schumann: Sylvesterlied from Album for the Young

Schumann: Toccata

Stravinsky: March from Danses Concertantes

Saint Saens: Organ Symphony Finale

Clue Pieces:

Satie: Dreamy Fish

Saint Saens: Aquarium from Carnival of the Animals

PROGRAMME 11 (13th MARCH 2022)


Dvorak: Symphony No 8 2nd movement

Ketelby: Bells across the Meadow

Riecha: Bassoon Sonata 1st movement

Ravel: Piano Concerto in G 1st movement

Rachmaninov: Paques from Fantasie-tableaux for 2 pianos

Dvorak: Piano Quintet in A Major Op81 Finale

Dubois (Max): Finale from Quartet for 4 Flutes

Ravel: Bolero

(Elgar: Dorabella from Enigma Variations)

Clue Pieces:

Kreisler: Allegro for Violin and Piano

Debussy: Poissons d’Or

PROGRAMME 12 (20th March 2022)


Chopin: Nocturne in B major Op8 No3

JS Bach: Courante from French Suite in G

Arnold: Symphony No 4 1st movement

Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor Finale

Field: Nocturne in E minor (No10)

Mahler: Um Mitternacht from 5 Ruckert Songs

Elgar: Scherzo from Symphony No 2

Dvorak: Piano Quintet No2 First movement

No clue pieces this week because the time for clues has finished. The Acrostic is revealed as a descending scale (CBAGFEDC). The question now remains: to what use have all the composers put descending scales in the all the pieces highlighted in pink above (and many more besides)? All will be revealed in the final programme on FMR at midday on Sunday 27th March 2022. Be there!

PROGRAMME 13 (27th March 2022)

Here is a recording of the final denouement programme:

Programme 13 in which the full answer to the musical acrostic was revealed

Knowing the Score – a series of programmes exploring instruments IN the orchestra

B flat major

B flat major

B flat Intro

Hello and welcome, and this really is the beginning! Three facets of the key for this programme, B flat major. B flat for short. B flat the expansive key as shown in the opening of Brahms’ 2md Piano Concerto; Bflat the key for brass instruments; B flat the key for a drinking song.

B flat has the flabby muscularity of a wrestler who has just started to go to seed. There is a beery, oom-pah side to it – no doubt the brass connection there. It’s the easiest key for trumpets, cornets and euphoniums – or should that be euphonia? But B flat has an alter ego – an effervescent, bubbly side; a bouncy liquid (champagne this time) good humour.

We will hear examples of all thes facets of this key today.

First the bibulous, beery side. Two drinking sings: The Student Prince and then La Traviata. Eat drink and be merry in B flat.

Romberg – Drink, drink, drink

Verdi – Brindisi, La Traviata

Now it’s time for a quick march or two – brass instruments to the fore. 4 in a row, in fact. First Gounod’s soldiers will march in and out again. Then we’ll shift to America for the Battle Hymn of the Republic; to France for Hector Berlioz’ amazing version of La Marseillaise, and finally to Athens to see what Beethoven’s Turks have done to it. A-1234,1234……

Gounod – Soldiers’ Chorus – Faust

Trad. – Battle Hymn of the Republic

Berlioz – La Marseillaise

Beethoven – Turkish March from The Ruins of Athens

The expansive side to B flat is well illustrated by the first movement of Brahms’ 2nd Piano Concerto. As we heard at the start of this programme, the first theme on the solo horn sets the pace and the generous proportion of the piece.

Brahms – 2nd Piano Concerto 1st movement

Perhaps the best way to illustrate the effervescent side to B flat that I referred at the start of the programme is to hear how Brahms uses it in the 4th and last movement of this self-same concerto. A complete contrast yet the same key.

Brahms – 2nd Piano Concerto 4th movement

Now a bubbly B flat medley: Poulenc first – the first of his Mouvements Perpetuelles for piano. Then Don Giovanni will sing about bubbly; more Mozart after that – the perky finale of his last piano concerto. Prepare to have your nose tickled.

Poulenc – Mouvement Perpetuelle 1

Mozart – Champagne Aria, Don Giovanni

Mozart – 27th Piano Concerto 3rd movement

Beethoven certainly knew how to have fun in B flat. I point you to the 2nd movement of his little 8th symphony while playing you the last movement of his 4th symphony. Listen out for the bassoon solo in the second half.

Beethoven – 4th Symphony 4th movement

Did you hear the bassoon? I think the Herr Beethoven wasn’t uninfluenced by the fact that the lowest note on the bassoon is B flat when he chose the key for the “Turkish” part of his famous Ode to Joy. (By the way, have you ever wondered what Beethoven owed to Joy, and indeed who Joy was??) He starts this section with repeated bassoon B flats. Another B flat march, by the way.

Beethoven – Turkish section Ode to Joy (the first 3 minutes)

Ending in a bright D major – reminding us of that wonderful key.

Now for something quiet. The Irish composer and demonstrator of other people’s pianos, John Field is best known for one piece – his Nocturne in B flat.

And then listen to Chopin’s Prelude in B flat. It’s really a Nocturne – a form of music invented by Field.

Field – Nocturne in B flat

Chopin – Prelude in B flat

Shostakovich’s Prelude and Fugue now. The Prelude is a perpetual motion piece. The Fugue has a bouncy theme in triple time.

Shostakovitch – P & F in B flat

Back to the bibulous. A rare example of Mahler writing in B flat. A hell-raising defiant drinking song from the Song of the Earth, Das Lied von der Erde. In truth the piece is not in B flat – it’s in A minor, Mahler’s tragic key, but when the singer first declaims, it has shifted to B flat because Mahler knows that it’s the right key for a drinking song.

Mahler – Trinklied

Now the Bach Prelude and Fugue in B. The Prelude is an improvisation-like piece of rapid playing (most satisfying); the Fugue more placid with a subject (heard first) and a regular counter-subject making for a satisfyingly symmetrical composition.

Bach – P & F in B flat

Now how shall we end? Beery, bibulous or bubbly? The latter, I think. Here’s the sparkling champagne of the final movement of Mozart’s Gran Partita for winds. Listen to the high spirits of the clarinets playing in the home key, praising the composer for his unerring understanding of their capabilities. On you marks, get set, go!

Mozart – Finale, Gran Partita for winds

I think it would be appropriate at the end of this beery, bibulous programme to leave you all with a ‘Cheers’ from me and from B flat major!


A major


Fine Music Radio welcomes you to Keynotes!

Chopin Prelude in A 1st 2 bars

A wander through the musical keys

Chopin Prelude in A 2nd 2 bars

And here is your guide, Tony Westwood

Chopin Prelude in A 3rd 2 bars


Hello and welcome; today we meet A major. I must start with a warning: Do not trust A major. A major has a smile but it is vacuous. A major has bright eyes, but there is nothing behind them. A major is shallow; it is really difficult to have a meaningful relationship with A major.

Witness the experience of Felix Mendelssohn. He had great trouble getting his Italian Symphony to work. He sweated blood over it. The reason is surely that he chose A major. You cannot squeeze Italian vigour out of her – all you will evince from is her empty smile.

Let’s listen to the 1st movement of this symphony – known in our household as “The Mermaid’s Lagoon” from a chapter heading in a recording of Peter Pan in which this music is used as the background. You’ll hear the rhythm in the woodwinds – “The Mermaid’s Lagoon”!

Mendelssohn – Italian Symphony 1st movement

Young Felix Mendelssohn also put his Song without Words called ‘Spring Song’ into A major. “Song without feeling’ rather:

Mendelssohn – Spring Song.

I think Robert Schumann understood A major. He cast a fair proportion of his Album for the Young in the key. “Album for those who have not yet achieved full maturity’ – very apposite for A major. Here’s a sequence of the A major miniatures from the Album:

Schumann – Album for the Young excerpts.

Serge Prokofiev also understood that A major is all surface, but he did not take it lying down. In his 6th Piano Sonata he pulls and pushes her around, threatening to turn her into A minor unless she capitulates and shows some spunk, which he eventually does. Arm wrestling with A major:

Prokofiev – 6th Piano Sonata 1st movement

If we want to get to the reason for A major’s shallow artifice, we must turn to Chopin’s little 16 bar Prelude in A that started the programme. Watch the corner of her mouth on each of the sets of 3 repeated chords. Yes, it is a little self-satisfied. A major is revealed as a narcissist! A study in self-absorption, Chopin’s Prelude in A major:

Chopin – Prelude in A

Debussy and Nijinski had cottoned on to A major’s self-absorption. The self-contemplation of the Faun one dreamy afternoon.

Debussy – L’apres midi d’un faun

In truth that piece is in E major but the flute oscillates across A as if it knows that that is key the Faun was really dreaming about itself in.

What is it with the flute and A major as in that piece? Was Mozart right to question the instrument’s commitment to good music? Here are Debussy’s Shepherd, played all alone and in A major. Loneliness – or complete self containment?

Debussy – The Little Shepherd (Children’s Corner Suite)

Another wind instrument now. Mozart’s two major works for the clarinet are written in A – because they’re easier to play on the A clarinet. As someone brought up arrangements of these works for the more common on B flat clarinet, these works have never sounded quite right to me. But that’s no reason to deny them to you. Here is the last movement of the Clarinet Quintet – a set of variations on a bouncy theme.

Mozart – Clarinet Quintet 4

Mozartian grace conquers A major. Here for me is the apogee of Mozartian grace in A major: the 1st movement of the 23rd Piano Concerto. Not how the 2nd chord completely expels A major’s incipient solipsism and provides warmth and vulnerability at one stroke – and insight I learnt many years ago from the writer and broadcaster, Anthony Hopkins.

Mozart – 23rd Piano Concerto 1st movement

How does Shostakovich cope with A major in his P & F? In the Prelude he stays in the key longer than I’d have expected before succumbing to his tendency to escape. The fugue reveals that he understands A major’s emptiness. The theme is simply made up of the broken chord of A – and it’s an Allegretto, that most nondescript of speeds. Hardly worth the fuss for the composer, one suspects.

Shostakovich – Prelude & Fugue in A major

Oh brooding spirit of Beethoven, what do you make of A major? Away with Fauns! Away with pipes and flutes! Away with nymphs dancing delicately in the pale moonlight! Let’s dance!!

Beethoven – 7th Symphony 4th movement

And now I’m going to unravel my own arguments about poor A major. One of the happiest pieces I know is in A; a piece that I recommend for dispelling the blues, the greys, the dumps. The “Alla Marcia” from Sibelius’ Karelia Suite, the brightest spot in this composer’s output. So I leave you with a light heart, I hope, after nearly an hour of ambiguous A major.

Sibelius – Alla Marcia from Karelia Suite


G major

G major

Part 1 (Beethoven 4th Piano Concerto opening Piano statement)

Part 2 (Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue excerpt)

Part 3 (Shostakovich Prelude in G excerpt)

Hello and Welcome. In this programme we explore G major. I wonder if you noticed that the 3 little excerpts that introduced this programme had more than the key in common? They all had themes that employed repeated notes. You might say ‘coincidence’ for Gershwin

Part 2

and Beethoven

Part 4

but I’m sure that Shostakovich

Part 3

had Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto in mind

Part 1

when he penned his Prelude

Part 3

More from that Shostakovich later.

As illustrated by the tiny bit of his music we heard in the introduction, G major was a serious key for Beethoven despite the fact that his most light-weight piano sonatas were in G. This programme’s most profound musical statement comes from him (any guesses?), but G major is generally a light key. It is bright sunlight on green leaves; it is a friendly smile; it is gambolling of lambs in spring; it has its emphasis on uncomplicated fun. It is Haydn; it is Dvorak.

Here to illustrate is the 1st mov’t from Dvorak’s 8th symphony. It starts a little darkly in G minor but the sun soon breaks through in the form of a happy, tootling tune on the flute – the quintessence of G major.

Dvorak – 8th Symphony 1st movement

The sunny opening of Dvorak’s 8th Symphony in G major. Let’s get in early with some Haydn as G major is really his key. And here’s a coincidence – that Dvorak symphony, number 8, was Opus 88; here is the final movement of Haydn’s 88th Symphony – in G major! You can just imagine Papa Haydn humming this little tune on his way to work.

Haydn – Symphony 88 4th movement

So Haydn, so G major. The last movement of Haydn’s 88th Symphony. Lots of string music there and its interesting how many composers have written in G major for string ensembles. Strings of a feather flock together in G major, it would seem. Here are some examples. See if you can identify them.

Bach 3rd Brandenburg Concerto 3rd movement

Grieg – Holberg Suite 1st movement

Mozart – Eine Kleine Nachtmusik 1st movement

Dag Wiren March from String Serenade

Tchaikovsky Waltz from String Serenade

G major strings, strings and more strings. The 3rd movement of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No 3; Grieg’s Holberg Suite, the 1st movement; Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik; The march from Dag Wiren’s String Serenade; and, from Tchaikovsky’s String Serenade, the Waltz. From groups of strings we’re going to the heart of the programme and a solo violin. Beethoven was able to stop the world in G major. The key’s inherent lightness is put aside and it is infused with a Zen-like calm; a quietness, deeply vibrating and spiritual. Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, the 2nd movement.

Beethoven – Violin Concerto 2nd movement

The slow movement from Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. She was playing with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Let’s continue our exploration of G major.  Here’s a piece that is known by its key: Minuet in G. But is it Bach’s Minuet in G, Beethoven’s Minuet in G or Paderewski’s Minuet in G?

Paderewski – Minuet in G

Paderewski’s Minuet in G for the piano. We move now from Polish music to English music. There’s a type of English dance music that can only really work in G major. So here’s my favourite example written by a Welshman called German.

German – Shepherd’s Dance from Henry VIII

That lovely piece look rather odd when written down on my piece of paper. My piece of paper says German Shepherd’s Dance, but that wasn’t a group of Alsatians running round the maypole. It was Edward German’s Shepherd’s Dance from Henry VIII. Now let’s complement that English dance written by a Welshman called German, with a German dance written by an Englishman from the Welsh border. One of Elgar’s Songs From the Bavarian Highlands. Light and bright in G major , of course.

Elgar – From the Bavarian Highlands 1st movement

Elgar’s The Dance from the Bavarian Highlands Suite. G major is a key that, while widely used in the Baroque and Classical periods, seems to have died out once the Romantics appeared on the scene. Is it too light and bright? Brahms tried it out. His 1st Violin Sonata is in this key but only the 1st movement; the last movement is in G minor. Likewise his only symphonic movement in G keeps shifting into the minor. A cloud passes in front of the sun. Listen:

Brahms – 2nd Symphony 3rd movement

The shifting tonalities of Brahms 2nd Symphony 3rd movement. Earlier I promised you some Shostakovich. Well, I’m going to stick to my promise and here is the Prelude with its repeated notes.

Shostakovich Prelude in G

Shostakovich’s Prelude in G major played by Keith Jarred. And here’s the Chopin Prelude. Bright and liquid  – a bubbling rivulet in spring sunshine.

Chopin – Prelude in G

Sunshine on running water – Chopin’s Prelude in G played by Martha Argerich. Another view of G major from the Romantic period now. The airiness of G major produced a child’s view of the heaven for Gustav Mahler – Simplicity and that certain type of light. Here’s part of the 1st movement of Mahler’s 4th Symphony – a series of innocent tunes – flutes and bells in the lead.

Mahler – 4th Symphony 1st movement

All sunshine without clouds, all smiles without tears: G major in heaven by Gustav Mahler. The 1st movement of his 4th Symphony. I wonder if it’s possible to write something as complicated and intellectual as a Fugue in G major. Well, Bach managed it!

JS Bach  Fugue in G (start at 3’20”)

The lightness of G major preserved in that Fugue by Bach. It’s time to round off our exploration of G major and we must end with a sunny piece of music. What shall it be? One of the best examples I know is the 1st movement of Mozart’s 17th Piano Concerto so let’s end with that.

Mozart – 17th Piano concerto 1st movement.

Ending our G major excursion with a sunny smile – the 1st movement of Mozart’s 17th Piano Concerto. And so we say farewell to G major and Keynotes. Good bye.

Late Literary Lunch – Chapter 47 of Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain

Hello, and welcome to this, the third of the three late literary lunches, hosted here on FMR 101.3 by me, Tony Westwood.  On the menu, music that appears in works of literature.  In our first lunch, Beethoven appeared in various guises; last week it was the turn of English writers, and, consoled by the finale from Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony, we witnessed the destruction of the earth.  I promised you a mountain at this week’s lunch and a mountain you shall have — and a Magic Mountain at that.


10 years in the writing, German writer Thomas Mann’s novel The Magic Mountain, large both in scope and size, appeared in 1924.  On the surface, the story of a young man’s visit to a Swiss TB sanatorium in the years leading up to the Great War — World War I –, the novel takes a look at a Europe headed who knows where out of Modernism, taking in the human condition in itself – but always with a twinkling ironic eye.  This novel, one chapter of it, chapter 47 of 51 chapters, is the focus of today’s lunch.


Now this is a challenge.  How do I give a perspective on a chapter 47 that occurs six or seven years and 630 pages into ‘our hero’s’  (note the inverted commas) ‘our hero’s’ three-week visit up the mountain?


To achieve this, I must confess to having a special relationship with Mann’s novel.  I have turned this novel into a three-act musical entitled ‘Love in a Time of Tuberculosis’, the first musical since The Bells of St Mary’s to have tuberculosis as a theme.  So, using a few words and a bit of music, I will quickly get you genned up enough to understand why Thomas Mann chooses to highlight the music he brings into chapter 47, a chapter he entitles ‘Fullness of Harmony’.


We start with the call of the Magic Mountain.  ‘Up here’ — the invitation on the Alphorn echoes across the valleys.




The writer Thomas Mann sends a young man named Hans Castorp for a three-week rest 5000 feet up in the Alps at the Swiss resort of Davos.  There is apparently not a lot to this young German from a well-to-do Hamburg business family.  This, at least, is the view of some of those he is to meet on the Magic Mountain.


Take King Arthur, Drake, Siddartha, Theseus,

Prometheus, Siegfried.

Ev’ry name’s a claim to fame and glory.

their stories they lead.

Here’s our leading man –

o, gents and ladies,

I am afraid he’s

not much to show.

Just one glance at our young Hans shows clearly

he’s really no hero.


Not very A


Not very bright, not very dim,

Not very much that would distinguish him.

Not very smooth, not very rough,

not really fit for all his hero-stuff.


Hans has come to visit his young cousin Joachim, a keen soldier who is an unwilling patient in the TB sanatorium.  Joachim is mixture between the Chocolate Soldier and Saint Sebastian and has a lovely tenor voice.


He tells Hans about life ‘up here’.


Up here Intro


Up here where the air breathes new life into body and soul; up here, up here scenes so fair all conspire to restore and make whole. The atmosphere is clean and crystal-clear; the perfect cure for all ills of the chest. The views are sublime; it’s a marvellous climate and just what doctors suggest.


Up here


For here, he sings, up here Alpine heights seemed to mock us in time’s endless stream.  Up here, up here any flight’s to be thought of, at most, like a phantom or ghost; no more than a fanciful dream.


Joachim has already been on TB treatment of 18 months. Eventually he will desert his duty as a TB patient and, in Act 2, will return, though not cured, to his military life.  He comes back much later in the novel — in Act 3 — and dies of TB of the larynx — not nice for a tenor.  What Hans thinks about this is revealed in his choice of music in chapter 47.


On the Magic Mountain, Hans is rather intrigued by the general attitude of the patients to life up here.


Eat, drink and be merry, they sing, for tomorrow we die!


Eat drink and be merry.


After all, many patients stay up here for years trying — or are they really trying?  — to be cured of TB.  Hans finds this enforced indolence rather alluring.


Also alluring is one of the female patients, Claudia Chauchat.  She comes from a republic in the Caucasus – her theme is a freedom, liberty – an approach to living that she picks up from her country.  She gives her home country the Russian pronunciation. Chechenya….




Hans is infatuated by Claudia, but he doesn’t know why.  She’s ill, isn’t she?


As a counterweight to Claudia’s erotic influence on Hans, Thomas Mann inserts Signor Ludovico Settembrini, an Italian humanist rationalist.  He also has TB, and he tries to recruit Hans to the cause of Western rational progress and Modernism.


Reason 1


The light of Human reason will illuminate the world

The thoughts of Man brought together can create a blueprint and a plan.


Reason 2


Settembrini does not approve of Hans’ attraction to Claudia’s liberated carnality.


As a separate counterweight to Signor Settembrini’s ideas, we also meet Father Naphta, a small ugly Catholic priest with TB and a penchant for polemical religious nihilism.  He and Settembrini have a series of dingdong battles for Hans’ paltry soul. In musical terms, Naphta is a discordant C minor and Settembrini a rather warmer E major.




In a wonderful theatrical moment towards the end, in the throes of advanced TB, Settembrini and Naphta have a real duel with pistols.


Preparing to return home after three weeks on the Magic Mountain, Hans develops a cough.  He goes to the doctors.


TB or not TB that is the question

Whether ‘tis or ‘taint, or ‘tis; now there’s no question.


TB or not TB


Yes, Hans has TB.    He will have to stay on the Magic Mountain. He is not sorry.


So now the stage is set for Joachim, Settembrini, the chorus of TB patients, Claudia and Naphta unwittingly to help our modest hero find his own way through a jungle of matters material, psychological and spiritual to reach his own conclusions about life, the universe and everything.


In chapter 47 (here we are at last), a new gadget appears on the Magic Mountain for the delight of the patients— a gramophone.  Hans is attracted.  He becomes a kind of DJ and this gives him the access to the five records that mean a great deal to him; that connect to all he has seen and heard and felt ‘up here’.  What music is it?  What did Thomas Mann choose for Hans?


First comes the end of Verdi’s opera Aida.  Why this?  Naphta’s inflexible, nihilistic god is heard in the priest’s condemnation of Radames.


Aida priests


Radames’ choice of Aida and true love over country is greater than those priests are — like Joachim’s fatal choice was, like Hans’s is. Aida and Radames, their entombed love, speaks to Hans. ‘You, here in this tomb?!’ Radames exclaims to Aida.




Hans sat there with folded hands. Ultimately what he felt, understood, and relished was the victorious ideality of music, of Art, of human emotions, their sublime and incontrovertible ability to gloss over the crude horrors of reality. You had only to picture coolly and calmly what was actually happening here.  Two people were being buried alive; their lungs full of the gases of the crypt, cramped with hunger, they would perish together, or even worse, one after the other; and then decay would do its unspeakable work on their bodies, until two skeletons lay there under those vaults, each indifferent and insensitive to whether it lay there alone or with another set of bones.  That was the real, factual side of the matter. For the Radames and Aida of the opera, this factual future did not exist.  They let their voices sweep in unison to the blessed sustained note of the octave, secure in the belief that Heaven was opening before them, but their longings were bathed in the light of eternity.  The consoling power of beauty to gloss things over did its listener a great deal of good and contributed much to his special fondness for this segment of his favourite concert.


As a balm after this terror, Hans plays a dreamy piece of music.  A piece of music that frees one from all responsibility — as the Magic Mountain did Hans. I don’t think you’ll have difficulty working out what this music is:


This was the dream that Hans Castorp dreamed: he was lying on his back on a meadow sparkling in the sun and strewn with colourful asters, a little mound of earth under his head, one leg pulled up slightly, the other laid across it — and, let it be noted, they were the legs of a goat.  Just for the pure joy of it, since he was quite alone on the meadow, he let his fingers play at the stops of a woodwind  he held to his lips, a clarinet or reed pipe, from which he coaxed gentle, nasal tones, one after the other, purely at random, and yet in a satisfying sequence that arose carelessly into the deep blue sky.  The gently swaying, peaceful, summery scene around him became a blend of sounds that gave ever-changing, constantly surprising harmonic meaning to his simple pipings.  He was very happy on his summer meadow. There was no responsibility, no War Tribunal of priests judging someone who’d forgotten his honour, lost it somehow.  It was depravity with the best of consciences, the idealised apotheosis of the total refusal to obey Western demands for an active life.  To our nocturnal musician’s ears, this one piece’s soothing effects made it worth many others.




Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun with Hans Castorp as Faun, played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The second of Hans Castorp’s favourite works.


Record number 3 is a clever choice by Mann.  Part of Bizet’s opera Carmen.  I wonder if Mann had Bizet’s characters in mind when he painted his own in his novel?  Claudia for Carmen.  Don Jose for Joachim.  Not specifically certainly, but Hans definitely hears echoes as he listens to Bizet’s music in the dead of night.  The scene is that in which Carmen tantalises Don Jose, and then scorns his need to follow the bugle call back to barracks.


Carmen 1


Carmen uses a very simple means to get her way.  She claims that if he leaves, he does not love her; and that is precisely what Jose cannot bear.  He implores her to let him speak.  She refuses.  Then he forces her to listen — a devilishly serious moment.  Ominous sounds rose from the orchestra, a gloomy, threatening scheme, which as Hans knew, moved through the whole opera until the catastrophic end, but here also served as the introduction to the little soldier’s aria — the next record.  And he put it on now.


Carmen 2


‘Oh my Carmen’, he sang.  ‘My being is yours,’ he sang in desperation, repeating the same anguished melodic phrase, which the orchestra also picked up again on its own, ascending two notes up from the dominant and with deepest fervour moving back to the fifth below.  ‘My heart is yours,’ he assured her in trite, but tenderest excess, using that same melodic phrase again; now he moved up the scale to the sixth to add, ‘and I am eternally yours’, then let his voice sink 10 intervals and in great agitation confessed, ‘Carmen, I love you’ — the last few notes agonisingly sustained above shifting harmonies, before the ‘you’ with its grace note finally resolved the chord.


Carmen 3


Also echoed in Don Jose’s song is Hans’ own fervent avowal of love sung to Claudia during the Mardi Gras celebrations at the end of Act 2: ‘I believe this dream was meant to be,’ he sang.


I believe


‘Yes, yes,’ Hans said in sombre gratitude, and put on the finale, where everyone congratulated young Jose for standing up to his officer, and thus cutting off his retreat, so that he would now have to desert the colours, just as Carmen had demanded, to his horror only moments before.


The chorus sang — and you could understand the words quite clearly.  ‘To roam and walk with happy pride your fatherland, the world so wide!  You shall obey your will alone.  A gift more rare than precious stone is freedom, freedom, it is your own!’


Carmen 4


Yes, yes, Hans said once more,…..


Claudia’s freedom, and dear friend and cousin Joachim’s fateful desertion from his duty to stay the course of his TB treatment, and Hans’s own delighted, though temporary, fall into the hands of a femme fatale are all linked in his mind with Bizet’s Carmen.


Hans moved on to a fourth piece, something very fine and dear to him.


Record 4 is also French and is also linked to Joachim.  In Charles Gounod’s opera Faust, Marguerite’s soldier brother Valentine is off to war.  He promises to pray every day for her protection.  This means a lot to Hans as it connects him — the soldier’s voice connects him with dead Joachim.


When to war I’m called away

I’ll remember every day

to entreat our God on high

to protect you if I die.


The music, Valentine’s Cavatina, from Gounod’s Faust links Hans with Joachim in a macabre way in the very next chapter of Mann’s novel.  Hans attends a séance — yet another diversion for the patients, though one of the doctors calls it a serious psychological study. Hans has asked that Joachim be called from ‘the other side’. The medium (a young girl who has TB, haven’t they all?) is not having much success. Then Hans puts on the record of Valentine’s Cavatina:


Valentine’s Cavatina. (The next paragraphs are spoken over the music at the times indicated)


(13 seconds ) No one spoke.  They listened.  Hans held the medium’s hand. The moment the music began, she took up her labours again.  She started up in her chair, shuddered, groaned, pumped, and put Hans’s slippery wet hands to her brow.


(1 minutes 8 seconds) The record continued to play.  It came to the middle section, the passage about battle and danger.


(1 minute 55 seconds) The music moved on to the finale, the reprise, with augmented orchestra swimming in massive terms: ‘O Lord of heaven, hear my prayer.’ Hans was occupied with the medium.  She reared back, drawing air in through her constricted throat, sank forward again with a long sigh, and crouched there without a sound.  One of the patients squeaked in terror. Hans did not straighten up.  There was a bitter taste in his mouth.


(after the end of the music) The record had come to an end.  No one turned off the machine.  Hans lifted his head, and without having to search, his eyes looked in the right direction.  There was now one more person than before in the room.  There sat Joachim.  It was Joachim with a shadowy hollow cheeks and warrior’s beard from his final days.  He sat leaning back, one leg crossed over the other.  Two deep creases were engraved on his brow between the eyes, which had sunk deep into their bony sockets, although that did not distract from the tenderness of the gaze that came from a beautiful, large, dark eyes, directed in friendly silence at Hans, at him alone.  Hans stared at the visitor in the chair.  For a moment, he thought that he would vomit.  His throat contracted and cramped for four or five fervent sobs.  ‘Forgive me!’ he whispered to himself, and then the tears came to his eyes and he saw nothing more.


Throughout the novel, Hans Castorp plays a dance with death, trying to get the measure of it.  Even the bones of the dead lovers in Aida are part of this. The last of his favourite records is linked with death – The Linden – or Lime – tree – Schubert’s short song from his song cycle, The Winter Journey. The tree calls a young man to suicide on its rustling branches.


Beside the flowing fountain

A spreading lime tree grows

And often in its shadow

I liked to dream and doze.

I carved upon its sturdy trunk

The words that love expressed.

In times of joy or sadness

It drew me there to rest.


But now when I walk past it

Alone at dead of night

I dare not, in the darkness,

Allow it into my sight.

But still the rustling branches

Are whispering to me

Their gentle invitation,

“Come here and rest in peace.”


Der Lindenbaum


This song, Schubert’s Der Lindenbaum, appears again right at the end of the novel. World War 1 has arrived and, up there on the Magic Mountain for seven years, Hans had cut himself off so effectively, much to Ludovico Settembrini’s chagrin, that he was not even aware that it was coming. The war brings to an end life ‘up here’, and we take our leave of Hans in a very different setting.


Where are we? Where has our dream brought us?  Dusk, rain, and mud, fire reddening a murky sky that bellows incessantly with dull thunder, the damp air rent by piercing, singsong whines and raging, onrushing, hell hound howls that end their arc in a splintering, spraying, fiery crash filled with groans and screams, with brass blaring, about to burst, and drumbeats urging onward, faster, faster. 


There is our friend, there is Hans! He is soaked through, his face is flushed, like all the others.  He runs with feet weighed down by mud, his bayoneted rifle clutched in his hand.  What’s this?  He’s singing?  The way a man sings to himself in moments of dazed, thoughtless excitement, without even knowing — and he uses what tatters of breath he has left to sing to himself:


‘I carved upon its sturdy trunk the words that love expressed’


He stumbles.  No, he has thrown himself on his stomach at the approach of a howling hound of hell, a large explosive shell.  He lies there, face in the cool muck, legs spread, feet twisted until the heels press the Earth.  Laden with horror, this product of science gone berserk crosses 30 yards in front of him, buries itself in the ground, and explodes like the devil himself, bursts inside the earth with ghastly superstrength and casts up a house-high fountain of soil, fire, iron, lead, and dismembered humanity. 




He gets up, he limps and stumbles forward on mud-laden feet, singing thoughtlessly:


‘But still the rustling branches Are whispering to me

Their gentle invitation, “Come here and rest in peace.” ‘


And so, in the tumult, in the rain, in the dusk, Hans disappears from sight.




No more to tell

We break the spell

And say farewell.


And it is farewell from Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain, and farewell from me, Tony Westwood, and farewell from our Late Literary Lunches. Thank you very much for listening, and sharing these literary meals. I suppose there might be some left-overs: we’ll have to see.  Happy reading and happy listening.

Late Literary Lunch – British

Hello.  Welcome to the second of three late literary lunches hosted here on Fine Music Radio by me, Tony Westwood.  On the menu, as last week, pieces of music that appear in works of literature.  Last week was an all Beethoven programme taking in Tolstoy, E. M. Forster, Aldous Huxley, Thomas Mann and Anthony Burgess.  This week we are dining on music found in English novels of the last 100 years.  The fare is more lightweight than last week, I think, but no less tasty for that.  I have to admit to a magpie approach to reading, so if your favourite or iconic English author is not here, please forgive me.  We ended last week’s lunch with a taste of Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange, and I’m going to allow Burgess first course honours today.


In 1991, Burgess presented to the literary world a rather sideways tribute to man of the moment in that year — Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who was celebrating the 200th anniversary of his premature death.  Under the title ‘Mozart and the Wolf Gang’, Burgess incorporated a short play, opera libretto, internal dialogue and – our focus for today –  a curious attempt at turning Mozart’s 40th Symphony into words.  Two contemporaries of Mozart Louis XV1 and Marie Antoinette in Versailles feature in this ‘word symphony’.  Burgess is not setting tunes to music; rather he imagines the Rococo scenes using the structures of a well-known musical phrases and structure of the 40th — even the modulations.  The first movement starts with husband-and-wife, and by the time we’ve got to movement four, execution in revolutionary Paris is approaching.  We now present a melange of Burgess’s words and Mozart’s music – melange sounds like a pudding, a mixture of blancmange and meringue?  — but this is our first course in today’s late literary lunch.


First movement (Imagine the King pacing his room, thinking anxiously in G minor about Marie Antoinette in her boudoir, but not unaware of the ferment in the streets. It starts with the unrest of the viola accompaniment)


Play repeats of 1st bars


The square cut pattern of the carpet.  Square cut carpet’s pattern.  Pattern the cut square carpet.  Stretching from open door to windows. 


First theme


He himself, he himself, he himself trod in the glum morning. From shut casement to open door and back, to and to and back.


Exposition to E flat bit – interrupt


Switch to E flat major:

Triumph of unassailable order.  Versailles unassailable.  Everything in its, everything in his place.  Place.  Place.


Up to 2nd subject


She in room drinks off chocolate.  She in bed still.  Full sun catches elegant body.  Clothed in satin sheets, in wool coverlet.  In square fourposter lies.


2nd subject to end of exposition


Fast forward to end of movement: They themselves, they themselves, they themselves tread bare boards, uncarpeted, unrugged


Coda (start with rhythm) (34 secs)


That will do for movement 1.


Second movement (Royal family rocking gently on a boat in E flat major, starving Parisians visible to rive gauche and droit)


Start of 2nd movement


A black day is coming.


Black day phrase


The black day is coming for you, me and everyone.


Quite soon now phrase


 How soon now? 


Shadows closing phrase


shadows closing


Last phrase for 2nd movement


Third movement – G minor Minuet


They ply their instruments too swiftly.  They play this minuet so sadly.  The sadness is built into the music.  They play faster because leisure is eroded.  The last ball a sad ball.  The dancers, our guests, dancing in willed agitation.


Play Minuet without repeats.


But on a sour cadence the dance ends.


Cadence music


Fourth movement – Waiting for execution, the crowds seethe.


Well, the tumbrils are coming.  The words suggest tumbling, rumbling, thunder. 


First 15 bars


A loud cry the crowds, cry aloud the crowds, the crowds cry aloud.


To second subject


And she is safe.  Her winsomeness appealed, a peal of silver bells her winsomeness.  The sun beamed on her release.


Second subject in Recapitulation to End


Mozart’s 40th Symphony according to Anthony Burgess in Mozart and the Wolf Gang. ‘Gibberish’ as one arm of his internal dialogue calls his attempt at turning the symphony into words.


I think that, with this work, Burgess was attempting to say that we should not treat Mozart differently from other composers. His music, though perfect and always so much more beautiful than his contemporaries who had the same musical means to work with, was connected to what was happening in the world outside, and can’t be taken as other-worldly and separate. We will come back to Mozart and we will come back to Burgess at the end of the programme, – and I urge you to stay because we’re going to have an ending unlike anything heard in Cape Town ever before.


Vikram Seth made quite a splash with his 1999 novel ‘An Equal Music’.  The workings of a string quartet form the core of the novel, with a second violinist, Michael by name, being the narrator and main character.  Music is the golden thread of this novel — it accounts for much of the emotional language of the story, the characters and us as readers.  For our literary lunch, I will highlight two chamber works that provide emotional nodes in Seth’s story.


Schubert’s Trout Quintet is being rehearsed for a performance in the famous and daunting Vienna Musikverein. Only the reader and Michael the narrator know that the pianist, Julia whom he loved, lost and loves again, is deaf. Things go well – she gets all the cues that make for exceptional chamber ensemble playing – until they come to the Scherzo:


Complete impasse. The problem lies in the very first phrase.


Play first phrase


There are three presto quavers for violin and viola followed by a down beat crotchet, on which everyone else crashes in.


Play first phrase again


They try it again and again, but it is never exactly coordinated. Julia, I can tell is getting more and more distraught, the others more and more puzzled. ‘Let’s take a five minute break,’ says the leader, ‘I need a cigarette.’


I hope nobody is smoking over our literary lunch, but let’s take a 5 minute break from words and tuck into our second course – the Scherzo from Schubert’s Trout Quintet. This is the Fish course, I suppose! Raise fish forks, come in together……


Trout Quintet Scherzo (4 minutes)


The Scherzo 3rd movement from Schubert’s Trout Quintet. Emil Gilels and the Amadeus Quartet.


Apart from his love affair with deaf Julia, Michael is in love with his violin – only it is not his violin. It is on loan to him from an old lady from his home town in Yorkshire, Mrs Formby (now there’s anan original name!). Unlike his parents Mrs Formby shares Michael’s love for music. As a child he was enchanted when she played him a record of ‘The Lark Ascending’ by Vaughan Williams, and the lark (the real bird on the Yorkshire moors) becomes a link between them and also Michael’s link with his home. The violin represents the lark in this work, trilling high in the sky.


Lark Ascending excerpt.


I tell Mrs Formby about my walk on the moors yesterday and the larks. Behind her thick spectacles her eyes grow wider, and she smiles. “He rises and begins to round,’ she prompts. ‘He drops the silver chain of sound,’ I continue, and we recite it in alternate lines, unerringly. ‘Till lost on his aerial wings,’ she say at last, and sighs. I am silent, and after a while, almost inaudibly, she herself murmurs the final line.


It feels churlish to tell Vikram Seth that it is ‘rings’ not ‘wings’ in George Meredith’s poem. We must forgive him as he allows Michael to gain the violin through a tax-free bequest in Mrs Formby’s will. Michael goes one last time to the wintry Yorkshire moor, takes out the violin and plays a few bars of the Vaughan Williams.


Lark ending ( 1 minute)


The violinist in The Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams was David Juritz.


Now after end-of-20th-century London, we are headed to 17th century Denmark.  From S. to T.  in a novelist alphabet — that is, from Seth to Tremain — Rose Tremain.  And from one composer of beautiful but often gloomy music, Schubert, to another composer known for his misery — he even gloried in it — John Dowland.  In Music and Silence, Rose Tremain places in fictional lutenist named Peter Claire in the historical court of King Christian the fourth of Denmark.  The music Claire plays (and his angelic looks) provides a balm for the King’s ills.  ‘How does music do this?,’ asks the King, and then he answers his own question:


We do not really know where music comes from or why, or when the first note of it was heard.  And we shall never know.  It is the human soul, speaking without words.  But it seems to kill pain — this is an honest fact. I yearn, by the way, for everything to be transparent, honest and true.  So why do you not play me one of Dowland’s Lachrymae?  Economy of means was his gift and this I dote upon. His music leaves no room to exhibitionism on the part of the performer.


The music of Dowland provides some of Claire’s repertoire for the King.  Dowland himself spent some time in this court — perhaps providing Tremain with a nugget of an idea on which she elaborated this story.  Dowland’s brief sojourn there is discussed by the other musicians in the King’s hard-pressed orchestra:


Dowland couldn’t transcend his own pitiful life, that is all. He wrote good music, but he could not make use of it, in his soul. In that respect, his labours were pointless.


So here is some of that pointless creativity – Dowland’s composition, Lachrymae – ‘Tears’,  if translated into English – and this is how they sound as they fall.


Dowland – Lachrymae (5 minutes)


It may be that the conditions in which Dowland had to play at King Christian’s Court in Denmark led to such sadness in that work -  his Lachrymae, played by John Odette.  All modern day pit orchestral players need to listen to how Tremain describes the place King Christian’s orchestra played in before they complain.


Emerging from the tunnel, Peter Claire finds himself in a large vaulted cellar, lit by flares from two iron torches bolted to the walls.  ‘Here we are, ‘  the Music Master says.  ‘ this is the place.  Do you note how cold it is?  ‘ I would expect a cellar to be cold,’ said Peter Claire.  ‘So you’ll get used to it?  Is that what you’re predicting?’  ‘Get used to it?’ protested Peter. ‘This’ said the Music Master ‘is where we play.’ Peter Claire looks disbelievingly. ‘ What purpose can an orchestra serve in a cellar?  There is no one to hear us.’  ‘We are directly under the throne room. There is an assemblage of brass ducts or pipes let into the vaults of this cellar and each one fashioned almost like a musical instrument itself, cunningly curved and waisted so that the sounds we make here are transmitted without distortion into the space above and all the king’s visitors marvel when they hear it. We can freeze to death, it’s of no consequence to him.’


Dowland however, as with this Tremain story, is not all misery, so here’s something light to raise the spirits of a Danish king and a lunching listener.


Mrs Winter’s pieces – (2 minutes 40 seconds)


Three Dowland lute trifles – Mrs Winter’s Jump, Mrs Winter’s Thing and Mrs Winter’s Nothing (I kid you not!) as played by John Odette, giving us the sounds of music in the era that Rose Tremain set her novel Music and Silence. Music and Silence would have been a good title for Vikram Seth’s An Equal Music, perhaps, given its theme of hearing loss in a musician.


And now – our grand finale, the promised memorable last course to this week’s literary lunch. Welcome back our chef, Anthony Burgess. What have you cooked up, sir? ‘The End of the World News.’ Novel of 1982. I can imagine Burgess listening to the BBC World Service in Malaysia and hearing a newsreader ending the hourly new bulletin for the umpteenth time. ‘That is the end of the World News’, and something clicking in his brain and he changes the emphasis in the phrase subtly to – that is the end of the world news. The end of the world. In his novel, Burgess takes us through the final travails of a world that is going to be hit by a mighty asteroid, nicknamed Lynx in the story. He entwines stories of Sigmund Freud and Trotsky into it, but we will concentrate on the Apocalypse for our lunch, if you don’t mind. At the last minute, before the grand destruction of the world, a few people escape from the doomed Earth on a space ship.


‘Let us at least, before the earth ends,’ said Dr Adams, ‘hear some of earth’s music.’ She took from her shoulder bag a musicasette. ‘All I have,’ she said.


‘What is it?’


Well, dear lunch guest, the ultimate desert island disc question?


What they play – what Burgess chooses for them to play as the earth is pulverised before them, is the final movement of Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony. And I have to say that he was right on target. There is no higher peak in music. And Cape Town, we are all going to do this movement together, we are going to claim this human high point as ours together as the earth we love disappears. Here is how. This movement is made up of many short phrases that miraculous Mozart weaves together with the precision of a physicist and the art of a grand master into the most complex yet natural synthesis. I am going to give a phrase each to suburbs of Cape Town, and, wherever you live, I want you to sing yours out each time it appears. That way Cape Town makes a symphony, this wonderful symphony, stating that we stand together in Art, in Mozart, whatever befall, come death and destruction. Fine Music is eternal.


(Piano version plus one in context for each area)


So Milnerton up to Atlantis, here is your phrase. Just four notes.


1st theme piano


Again in context –


(1st four note phrase orchestra)


Got it. Right


Now Parow out to Kraaifontein and taking in Kuil’s River, here is yours:


2nd theme piano


Which also appears in this form


(second part of the theme, orchestra)


Listen – dahdahdahdaaa, diddlediddle dum


And Rondebosch to Tokai:


3rd theme. Dah-di-dah and quavers. Piano


Then orchestra


Muizenberg to Simonstown, here’s yours:


4th theme – piano


Do get the trill right please!


4th theme – orchestra


Now Central Cape Town along the N2 to Khayelitsha on the right and Eerste Rivier on the left, listen to your phrase.


5th theme – piano


Tthree notes –


5th theme – orchestra


Up down up- but very important ones.


Hold on to that, please while we move to Somerset West, Strand Gordon’s Bay and the long antennae of Pringle Bay. Here is yours – on the oboes.


6th theme – piano


 Got it, Pringle, just four bouncy notes?


6th theme – orchestra


Sing the phrase


Panorama and her neighbours up to Parklands, this is yours.


7th theme – piano


Although it is the same as the first three notes of Rondebosch’s, it often appears on its own; a military rum-ti-tum.


7th theme – orchestra


Rondebosch to Tokai, please remember that your tune


3rd theme-  orchestra


sometimes appears upside down


3rd theme inversion


so be ready!


Don’t panic folks. I have arranged with the orchestra to repeat the Exposition – the part where Mozart sets out all these themes. So you will have a chance to tune in if you don’t know the piece.


Now we are ready to begin. Oh, sorry, Atlantic Seaboard, we seem to have left you out, but you already live on another planet, you know!. And internet listeners, join in with whatever phrase you like.


Lead us, Mr Burgess, as we watch the destruction of earth,


From the four corners of the ceiling music poured – the essence of human divinity or divine humanity made manifest through the gross accidents of bowed catgut and blown reeds. They saw Lynx and earth meet, and the first patch of earth to catch the blow was the northern Rockies, which must already be leaping with stupid love to the claws of Lynx. The moon was a ring and, a greater ring, pulverised earth spun already in perfect concentricity, luminous dust. Mozart was part of that dusty ring, but, miracle, Mozart was also here. The rhythms of Mozart bore them on into space, the beginnings of their, our, journey.


Now Cape Town, make the wonders of the Jupiter Symphony your own. Sing, sing Mozart together. You are first, Milnerton. Get ready to join in, everyone else. We are off. To destruction and to the infinite simultaneously.


Mozart Jupiter – 4th movt


Wow – well done, Cape Town! That was magnificent! What a way to end our literary lunch, with the whole Table (capital T as in Table Mountain) singing Mozart’s Jupiter symphony thanks to novelist Anthony Burgess, and all conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras and accompanied by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Next week our literary lunch takes us up another mountain, so I’ll see you up there then. Goodbye from me, Tony Westwood. Have a wonderful musical week.


Final bars of Jupiter IV to close.


Late Literary Lunch – Beethoven

Late Literary Lunch 1. Broadcast on Fine Music Radio in Cape Town January 2010


Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. This is Tony Westwood on behalf of Fine Music Radio inviting you to take your seats for our late literary lunch. This is the first of three occasions when you are invited to sample the music that appears in various works of literature. People who know and enjoy good music are aware that composers often use literary works as their inspiration. Goethe’s Faust appears in many guises as do the works of William Shakespeare. Well, in these three lunch gatherings, we are going to turn this on its head and have examples where writers have used pieces of music to enhance what they are writing – to add depth or character to a particular scene or theme in a novel or play.


In this first programme – in other words, for this first lunch, we will see how the works of one composer – a very famous composer – have appeared in a number of novels. In the second programme, we will take a particular century in a particular country, and for the third programme or lunch to which you are invited, we shall explore one particular writer, one particular novel – indeed, a single chapter in that novel. I hope you will be able to join in our literary lunches – all three of them. So to the fare for today’s lunch:


If one was asked to guess which composer’ music is likely to appear in works of literature, it wouldn’t require much thought to realise that it was going to be Ludwig van Beethoven. That Colossus of humanity is very likely to come to mind when a writer wants to add depth to his writing.


So we’ll start in Russia: Leo Tolstoy and a small novel of his that takes its title from one of Beethoven’s works: the Kreutzer sonata for violin and piano. Tolstoy’s Kreutzer Sonata is a troubling exploration of the relationship between men and women. It is the story of a marriage founded on the unequal relations between a man and a woman where, according to the main protagonist (Poz-dny-shev by name) who tells his story to a hapless fellow passenger in a train, a man’s need for sex and the biological consequences of it – in other words children and breast-feeding for the woman – inevitably lead, if chastity is maintained by the man, to a chasm between the partners. The woman (if freed from recurrent child-bearing) tends to coquettishness  and the man to jealousy. Enter music. I quote: “she again enthusiastically took up the piano which she had quite abandoned, and it all began from that’. Enter a male violinist, an acquaintance of the husband. She and he play together. A private concert is arranged. Picture the scene. Through the eyes of a jealous husband: ‘a couple are occupied with the noblest of arts – music. This demands a certain nearness and there is nothing reprehensible in that, but only a stupid jealous husband can see anything undesirable in it, yet everybody knows that it is by these means, those very pursuits especially of music that the greater part of the adultery in our society occurs.’ So here Tolstoy uses Beethoven to encourage an adulterous relationship in the eyes of a very jealous man: ‘then I remember how they glanced at one another, turned to look at the audience who were seating themselves, said something to one another and began. He took the first chords. His face grew serious stern and sympathetic and, listening to the sounds he produced, he touched the strings with careful fingers. [put the beginning in here – 16’] The piano answered him. The music began [put the piano reply in here – 11’] Do you know the first presto? You do? he cried. It is a terrible thing that sonata and especially that part.’ In Tolstoy’s story the Kreutzer sonata first movement leads to murder: the man murders his wife. So at the risk of setting off the occasional murder around Cape Town, we are now going to listen to the first movement complete Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata. Yasha Heifetz on the violin and Brooks Smith on the piano.


[Play 1st movt, Kreutzer Sonata – 10 min]


The Kreutzer Sonata by Beethoven, first movement. Yasha Heifetz, the violinist. Poz-dny-shev in the Kreutzer Sonata by Tolstoy was very angry that Beethoven knew why he wrote that, but for the listener like you and me that music only agitates and doesn’t lead to the conclusion.


Further down the lunch menu today, we will meet another protagonist for whom music does some rather unpleasant things. Poz-dny-shev although so worked up about that first movement is rather dismissive of the rest of the Sonata: ‘after that Allegro, they played the beautiful but common and unoriginal andante with trite variations and the very weak finale.’ So I think we’ll miss them out today.


Now -  for the second course in our literary lunch – our late literary lunch. We move still in the company of Ludwig van Beethoven to another writer; from Tolstoy to EM Forster and from a sonata to a symphony.


In Chapter 5 of Howard’s End Forster takes some of his characters to a concert – appropriately for Chapter 5, it is a performance of Beethoven’s 5th symphony. It is mostly seen through the eyes of young Helen Schlegel whose idealistic sensibilities animate much of the novel.


‘It will be generally admitted that Beethoven’s fifth Symphony is the most sublime noise that has ever penetrated into the ear of man. All sorts and conditions are satisfied by it. Whether you are like Mrs Munt and tap surreptitiously when the tunes come, of course not so as to disturb the others. Or like Helen who can see heroes and shipwrecks in the music’s flood or like Margaret who can only see the music . Or like brother Tibby who is profoundly versed in counterpoint and holds a full score open on his knee.  In any case, the passion of your life becomes more vivid and you are bound to admit that such a noise is cheap of two shillings. [Play a little of the first movement – 47’] The Andante had begun: very beautiful but bearing a family like this to all the other Andante’s that Beethoven had written and Helen’s mind rather disconnecting the heroes and shipwrecks of the first movement from the heroes and goblins of the third.  She heard the tune through once and then her attention wandered. [2nd movement 1st statement – 56’] And then  Beethoven started decorating his tune so she heard him through once more, and then she smiled. [2nd movement variation – 54’] How  Interesting that row of people was; What diverse influences had gone into their making. Then Beethoven after humming and hawing the great sweetness said ‘Heyhoe’ [End of 2nd movement – 27’] and the Andante came to an end.  Helen said to her aunt, ‘now comes the wonderful movement. First the goblins and a trio of elephants dancing. The music started with the goblins walking quietly over the universe from end to end. [Start of 3rd movement – 1m55’]. A trio of elephants dancing. [Trio – 1m2’]. After the interlude of elephant dancing the goblins returned. [Recap of Scherzo – 1m7’] Her brother raised his finger. It was the transitional passage from the drum, for, as if things had gone too far. Beethoven took hold of the goblins and made do what he wanted. He appeared in person. He gave them a little push and they began to walk in a major key instead of in a minor. [Start Interlude – 21’] And then he blew with his mouth and they were scattered. Gusts of splendour, gods and demigods contending on the field of battle. Magnificent victory, magnificent death. [start of 4th movement – 1m 50’]. And the goblins? – they have not really been there at all? Beethoven knew better. The goblins really had been. They might return and they did. It was as if the splendour of life might boil over and waste to steam and froth. In its dissolution one heard the terrible ominous note and a goblin with increased malignity walked quietly over the universe from end to end. Panic and emptiness. [4th movt 2nd excerpt – 58’] Beethoven chose to make it all right in the end. He blew with his mouth for the second time, and again the goblins were scattered, He brought back the gusts of splendour, the heroism, the youth, the magnificence of life and death and amidst vast roarings of superhuman joy he led his 5th symphony to its conclusion. [End of Beethoven 5 4th movt – 5m10’] But the goblins were there. They could return. He had said so bravely, and that is why one can trust Beethoven when he says other things.


An interesting way to listen to Beethoven’s overworked 5th symphony, I hope – through the eyes of one of English literature’s colourful characters. Helen Shlegel in EM Forster’s Howard’s End.


The next Beethoven work in this literary lunch appears in at least two novels — one English and one German.  The work is the last movement of Beethoven’s last piano Sonata Opus 111.  Beethoven’s last utterance in a major musical form — very tempting for a novelist.


Aldous Huxley in Antic Hay, a novel of the 1920s, brings this set of variations on a slow C major theme — Beethoven calls it an Arietta — a small Air or song — into a conversation between Theodore Gumbril (the young inventor of the pneumatic trousers – believe it or not) and one of three women he is involved with.  They are in Kew Gardens in London, sitting on the lawns:


‘It’s like the Arietta, don’t you think?’ said Emily suddenly, ‘ the Arietta of Opus 111.’ And she hummed first bars of the air.  [1st 8 bars – 22’] ‘ Don’t you feel it’s like that?  ‘


‘ What’s like that?’ 


‘Everything,’ said Emily.  ‘ Today, I mean.  You and me.  These gardens — ‘ and she went on humming. [2nd 8 bars – 26’]


Gumbril shook his head.  ‘Too simple for me,’ he said.


Emily laughed.  ‘Ah, but then think how impossible it gets a little farther on.’ She agitated fingers wildly, as though she were trying to play the impossible passages.  ‘It begins easily for the sake of poor imbecile like me; but it goes on, it goes on, more and more fully and subtly and abstrusely and embracingly.  But it’s still the same movement.’


Huxley breaks the idyll with a mad dash to the Albert Hall for Mozart’s string quintet in G. Minor — but that’s next week’s lunch.  So – ‘subtly, abstrusely, embracingly’.


Thomas Mann is other writer who inserted Beethoven’s Arietta into a novel.  Thomas Mann, who famously said that if anything was worth writing about, it was worth writing about at length.  So we can expect a few more adverbs on top of Huxley’s to describe Beethoven’s last piano Sonata movement.  Mann’s novel is Dr Faustus, a pseudo-biography of composer Adrian Leverkuhn who, after a pact with the devil and a single visit to a prostitute, invents a Schoenberg-like harmonic structure for his compositions and gets syphilis of the brain.  Mann illustrates Leverkuhn’s early musical exposure with a lecture on Beethoven Opus 111 that he and his biographer attend as teenagers.  The lecture is given by his stuttering music teacher.  His question: why has Opus 111 only got two movements?


After the first movement, the teacher laid his hands on his lap, was quiet for a moment, and then said ‘ Here it comes!’ and began the variations movement.  The Arietta theme, destined for vicissitudes for which its idyllic innocence it would seem not to be born, is presented at once, and announced in 16 bars, [Whole theme – 1m26’] reducible to a motif which appears at the end of the first half like a brief soul-cry. [3 notes – 8’] Simply that.  What now happens to this mild utterance, rhythmically, harmonically, contrapuntally (a few more adverbs for us) to this pensive, subdued formulation, with what its master blesses and to what condemns it, into what black nights and dazzling flashes, crystal spheres wherein coldness and heat, repose and ecstasy are one and the same, he flings it down and lifted up, or that one may well call vast, strange, extravagantly magnificent, without thereby giving it a name, because it is quite truly nameless; and with labouring hands the teacher played us all those enormous transformations, singing at the same time with the greatest of violence and mingling his singing with shouts.


Well, I would sing over the music, but, after all those literary descriptions, it is time to play it.  Listen out for where, quoting Mann again, ‘ there is a wide gap between bass and treble, between the right and left-hand, and a moment comes, and utterly extreme situation, when the poor little motif seems to hover alone and forsaken above a giddy yawning abyss ‘. Also (this is me again) the fourth variation has all the syncopation of a 1920s jitterbug — and maybe that’s one subliminal reason to its inclusion in the Huxley’s Antic Hay??  Beethoven Opus 111 the whole slow movement: As Beethoven demanded – very slow, very simple and singing……


[2nd movement of Opus 111 complete]


The teacher turned his face towards us and, in a few words, brought to an end his lecture on why Beethoven had not written in the third movement to Opus 111.  We had only needed, he said, to hear the piece to answer the question ourselves.  A third movement — impossible!


With that and thanking Ivo Pogarelitch, we’ll take our leave of Thomas Mann’s Dr Faustus and Beethoven.  Fast forward to 1962.  ‘ What’s it going to be, eh?’.  The first words of Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange.  Classical music and Beethoven in particular appear in a very equivocal light in this novel.  15-year-old narrator Alex’s pleasure in extreme violence is enhanced by the sound of classical music.  Pop music is too insipid for Alex.  A chemical cure for his violent tendencies produces a dreadful nausea every time he hears Beethoven, because the triumphant last movement of his fifth Symphony that we heard earlier in more innocent circumstances in the EM Forster accompanies the scenes of Nazi terror that are part of the aversive therapy Alex is subjected to.  This puts the reader in a morally dubious position: we want Alex to be able to enjoy the music we love, but are only too glad that he is no longer carving up old ladies.  (Another slice of beef anyone?) I am not sure that Burgess resolves that, but he does give me as host and presenter a way out.  After being used as a political pawn, Alex gets his musical appreciation back and plunges back into the Beethoven that gave him the dangerous emotional highs of his younger days.  I will read an extract in the teenage slang in which he writes.  Burgess allows me to play out with the calm of the slow movement of his Choral Symphony Number 9, and not the Ode to Joy that accompanies one of the most sickening scenes of his novel.  This allows you to digest the end of your late literary lunch in peace.  I hope to see you for lunch next week.  Have a horrorshow week!


‘The Ninth,’ I said. ‘The glorious Ninth.’

And the Ninth it was, O my brothers. Everybody began to leave nice and quiet while I laid there with my glazzies closed, slooshying the lovely music. The Minister of the Inferior said: ‘Good good boy,’ patting me on the pletcho, then he ittied off. Only one veck was left, saying: ‘Sign here , please.’ I opened my glazzies up to sign, not knowing what I was signing and not, O my brothers, caring either. Then I was left alone with the glorious Ninth of Ludwig van.


Oh, it was gorgeosity and yumyumyum. When it came to the Scherzo [short extract of Scherzo – 4’] I could viddy myself very clear running and running on like very light and mysterious nogas, carving the whole litso of the creeching world with my cut-throat britva. And there was the slow movement [bring in the slow movement under the speech] and the lovely last singing movement still to come. I was cured all right.


[Beethoven Symphony No 9: 3rd movt ending – length determined by total programme time]


Orphan Keys


Part 1 Chopin Scherzo in B flat minor excerpts

Part 2

Part 3

Hello and welcome. In this programme I’m bringing together a number of keys of which that was one example – that was B flat minor in Chopin’s Scherzo in B flat minor.  – I’ve called these key Orphan keys because they’re not heard very ‘orphan’. They’re keys with 5 sharps or flats or 7 sharps or flats. Unless you‘re a composer like Bach or Chopin or Shostokovitch and set yourself the task of writing a composition in every key, you have to make a deliberate choice to use one of these keys. The only one that really caught on was D flat major: we heard that in another programme. So in this programme we’re going to hear music written in B flat minor, G sharp minor, B major and A flat minor. That the major keys with 7 sharps or flat – that’s C sharp major and C flat major – haven’t been used much is not surprising: it’s just too much of sweat. I have yet to see a piece in A sharp minor. That said, I’ve lined up some good music in this programme; worthy of anything that’s gone before. I’m going to start with B flat minor and Chopin as we sampled in the introduction. This key induced in him a tearaway frenzy. He just goes mad. Listen:

Chopin – Prelude in B flat minor

I’m not making this up, you know! That was Chopin’s Prelude in B flat minor, and here’s some more B flat minor by Chopin – the last movement of his 2nd Piano Sonata in B flat minor. Just as crazy..

Chopin – Piano Sonata No 2 – 4th movement

I hope you could make sense of that. I couldn’t. In that Sonata the first movement is also very wild but it is tempered by G flat major. The third movement is the famous funeral march, but I’m not going to play that because we’re going to have a funeral march in another key later in the programme. Staying with B flat minor, here’s another composer who was induced to write something very tearaway in the key – Tchaikovsky. He writes a very energetic Russian Dance as the 3rd movement of his 1st Piano Concerto. I’m going to fade him before we get to the big B flat major climax because I’ve got another piece in B flat minor to follow.

Tchaikovsky – 1st Piano Concerto 3rd movement

Tchaikovsky – the last movement of his 1st Piano Concerto in B flat minor, demonstrating its wild side. Now JS Bach is going to take us to B flat minor in another form. The other side of the emotional spectrum – controlled dignified sorrow in his Prelude in B flat minor.

JS Bach – Prelude in B flat minor

In the fugue the sorrow becomes more overt. There’s sob between the 2nd and 3rd notes of the theme, and Bach, unusually, uses 5 voices to explore this sad little theme.

JS Bach – Fugue in B flat minor (start 3’04”)

B flat minor’s sadness in Bach’s Fugue in B flat minor. Other examples of B flat minor in this mood are Samuel Barber’s Adagio, and A Furtive Tear by Donizetti. I’m going to move on to another key now – G sharp minor. And we’re going to stay in Prelude mood. Here are 3 preludes by 3 composers who had to write in this key because they were doing their series of preludes: Bach, Chopin and Rachmaninov.

Bach – Prelude in G sharp minor

Chopin – Prelude in G sharp minor

Rachmaninov – Prelude in G sharp minor

3 preludes in G sharp minor: And here’s another piano piece in that key. La Campanella by Liszt. The repetitive tintinabulations of D# may be the reason for his choice of this unusual key for this essay in florid pianism.

Liszt – La Campanella

An essay in G sharp minor – La Campanella by Liszt. And now by miraculous sleight of hand we’re in A flat minor. No, it’s not really very clever: G sharp and A flat are the same note. So A flat minor sounds exactly the same as G sharp minor, but it looks very different on the page. Beethoven chose A flat minor to write a funeral march in his A flat major piano sonata. It is one of only two movements in this key by Beethoven, both in A flat major piano sonatas

Beethoven – Funeral March from Piano Sonata in A flat

If A flat minor is solemn and funereal in that piece, Richard Strauss found a lyrical side to the key in his 1st Horn Concerto 2nd movement. In choosing the key he made it a devil to read but divine to listen to so we’ll forgive him.

R Strauss – 1st Horn Concerto 2nd movement

And now it’s time to move away from minor orphans keys to a major orphan key – B major. Brahms loved the dark colours of B major. The longest and most sombre of the piano Ballades is in this key and for richness you cannot beat his Piano Trio in B. Here’s another supreme B major Brahms piece. The slow movement of his 2nd Symphony. There can be few pieces that match this for the combination of beauty and concentration. I think it’s the key that makes the difference.

Brahms – 2nd Symphony 2nd movement

The warmest of B majors in Brahms’ second movement from his 2nd Symphony. We’ve left Shostakovitch out of our other orphan keys in this programme so I’d better give him his play here.  Oddly he hears nothing of what Brahms heard in B major and gives us a very silly little prelude and a light-hearted fugue.

Shostakovitch – P & F in B major (there is a gap between the 2 parts in this video)

And here’s somebody else who had an upbeat view of B major, but I think I know why Verdi chose B major for La Donna e mobile and I think you will too when the tenor sings the last note.

Verdi – La Donna e Mobile

A top B provided by Verdi – the last note of La Donna e mobile. Verdi could have chose to put such an oom-pah piece in B flat major which is the oom-pah key, but he ratched it up one note in order to give a spectacular chance to the tenor. From one opera composer to another and from a tenor to a soprano. The climax of T&I by Wagner is in B major. Here is Isolde winding herself to the B major climax that Wagner provides in the Love’s Death.

Wagner – Liebestod

The B major ending of Tristan and Isolde by Richard Wagner. I’ve chosen as the last piece in this programme of orphan keys and orphan piece of music by which I mean it’s not heard very ‘orphan’, and yet it’s the piece heard most often by the composer Arnold Bax. But before we play it, let me point in the direction of a wonderful B major piece. The 2nd movement of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto. And if you’re needing another B major fix, try the end of Dvorak’s Cello Concerto. And now let’s end with the Bax. This is Tintagel in which Bax uses B major to conjure up both the mystery and the pageant of King Arthur’s castle. And by a wonderful coincidence that’s in Cornwall which is also where Tristan and Isolde is set.

Bax – Tintagel

The B major battlements of Tintagel by Arnold Bax. I hope you’ve enjoyed this exploration of the more unusual keys. They were worth exploring, weren’t they? Goodbye from them and from Keynotes and goodbye from me.

D major


Part 1 Mozart Haffner Symphony

Part 2

Part 3

Hello and welcome.  You will have picked up that the key for this programme is bright and energetic. That’s D major. D major is brassily bright. It has the brilliance of gold, of the sun, the summer sun, yellow fields of wheat. There is no key so positive as D major; so confident that all is well with the world. D major is a Handel chorus. Hallelujah! Amen! God save the King! (more of that later), but, look – here comes the golden sun!

Haydn Sunrise from The Creation

Odd planet this – here comes another sun!

Debussy La Mer Sunrise

2 effulgent D major suns. The first to rise was a representation of the first sun ever to rise – the sunrise from Haydn’s Creation. And the second was a sunrise over the sea from La Mer by Debussy. So you can see that this is going to be very bright programme. Let’s start with the brightness of the D major Haffner Symphony by Mozart that introduced the programme. Hit it, Wolfgang!

Mozart – Haffner Symphony First movement

The 1st movt of Mozart’s Symphony no 35 known as the Haffner.  Even old, serious Johannes Brahms couldn’t resist the exuberance of D major. The final movement of his D major 2nd symphony starts softly but the true character of the key soon has to break out.

Brahms Symphony 2 4th movement

Brahms – liberated by D major in the last movement of his 2nd symphony. Prominent trumpets at the end there really enjoying themselves. We’ll have some more D major trumpets later. At the beginning of the programme I spoke of D major’s golden colour. William Walton used D major when he set gold to music in Belshazzar’s Feast. He slips into a flat key for silver but the whole section ends in a riotous D major. Gold does not lose its lustre in Williams Walton’s hands. ‘Praise ye the Gods’ and do it in D major.

Walton Belshazzar’s Feast – Praise Ye the Gods

The height of Belshazzar’s Feast by William Walton. I think a change of pace of called for. There is another side to D major. Bucolic, a little bumbling, more relaxed, always good-natured. Still bright, too, but now the brightness of yellow leaves and an Indian summer. This is Beethoven. His Pastoral – not symphony, but sonata for the piano. The 4th movement gives a good idea of this aspect of D major’s character.

Beethoven – Piano Sonata (Pastoral) Last movement

And if you’re looking for other examples of D major the bucolic key look no further than the first movement of Mahler’s 1st Symphony, the first movement of Brahms’ 2nd Symphony, Alven’s Swedish Rhapsody No 1 and almost any Trio section of almost any third movement of almost any symphony in D major or D minor. Here’s a nice example from Grieg:

Grieg – Wedding Day at Troldhaugen

Wedding Day at Troldhaugen by Grieg illustrating D major’s rural side. Now it’s time for our dose of Shostokovitch – if that’s the right word. Prelude and Fugue in D major. The prelude has the sunniness we’ve come to expect from this key, and the fugue is a very light hearted affair – it chuckles from beginning to end.

Shostokovitch Prelude & Fugue in D

Chopin’s Prelude in D is gone in a moment, a mere puff of air. Just a stretch of the fingers for a pianist limbering up for stronger meat.

Chopin Prelude in D

Tossing off Chopin’s Prelude in D in 30 seconds. There is a seraphic side to D major.  A foretaste of heaven. Here is In Paradisum, literally In Heaven, from Faure’s Requiem. I follow that with another paradisial work: the second movement of Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet. So a quiet interlude in an otherwise bright and confident programme. There’s another kind of confidence here:

Faure – Requiem In Paradisum

Mozart  – 2nd movement from Clarinet Quintet

The 2nd movement of Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet.  Before that we heard the In Paradisum from Faure’s Requiem. And if you’re looking for other D major Paradisial pieces try the last movement of Mahler’s 3rd Symphony or the Ave Verum Corpus by Mozart. The Angels’ farewell in Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius is also in a heavenly D major.

Now back to big, bright, golden, brassy D major. Here’s the Overture to the 1st Orchestral Suite by JS Bach. A chance to hear some wonderful Baroque trumpets in D. This piece is somewhat longer than the pieces we usually play in these programmes but it makes up for the fact that we will not be sampling one of Bach’s Preludes and Fugues.

Bach – Overture to Orchestral Suite Number 1

Well, I hope you’re full up with golden D major and golden Bach. Back to choral music now. Beethoven of course and obviously cast the Ode to Joy in his Choral Symphony in D major and large parts of his grand Missa Solemnis are in the key, but in this programme, let’s hear the choral efforts of his mentor, Franz Joseph Haydn as he exhorts the harp to wake up in D major.

Haydn – Awake the harp

Awake the Harp from The Creation by Haydn. But if anyone made D major his own key for choruses and trumpets, it was George Frederick Handel. And so let’s end the programme with Handel and a chorus and brightness and kings and amens and for evers and hallelujahs….

 Handel ‘…..and blessing’

–  yes, and blessings – in D major.

Handel – Zadok the Priest, Hallelujah, Worthy is the Lamb, Amen all mixed up

My excuse is that I didn’t have time to play them all and couldn’t decide which one to play! The four Handel D major choruses included were the Hallelujah Chorus, Zadok the Priest, Worthy is the Lamb and of course the Amen Chorus. And now D major, Keynotes and I will make a rapid exit left. Amen and Goodbye!



Return top